Although the delegate of the Superintendency of Companies, Santiago Londoño, ordered last Thursday the judicial liquidation of Mercadería SAS Justo & Bueno, this left an open window: the chain can still use a tool to save itself.
This is article six of Decree 560 of 2020 —which provides an opportunity to rescue companies in a state of imminent liquidation—, which was used after a group of creditors expressed their intention to contribute new capital to Justo & Bueno. .
In this way, the company has a period of 30 days to present new offers. “The judge’s decision is a light of hope for Justo & Bueno to continue contributing to the country,” said Michel Olmi, founder of the company.
It should be noted that so far in 2022 the company’s new debts amount to more than $170,000 million, accumulating a total debt of $1.7 trillion. Its stores were also reduced to 603, from the 1,118 that were previously active, all closed since last Wednesday.
the rescue plan
In the middle of the hearing before the Supersociedades, spokesmen for creditors of Justo & Bueno insisted to the judge that they be given the opportunity to move the company forward.
One of the representatives was Claudia Álvarez, who stated that a group of 431 creditors already has a “rescue plan”, which has foreign investors willing to capitalize the company, while they (the creditors) are willing to reduce the amount of the administrative expenses owed to them.
Thus, in order to protect the credits, the employment and the company, the creditors asked the judge to grant them a period of time to present the plan, with which they seek to exchange their debts for shares.
“The merchandise representatives had enough time to present resources that never came, first from a Russian fund, then from an American one and finally from a Chinese one (JF Capital), represented by a Colombian and which turned out to be a whole pack of lies. . So we ask that they let us present the business model that we propose”, requested Alfonso Giraldo, also a spokesman for creditors.
The other face
Although the creditors’ plan has given the company one last hope, for the tenants this has meant a new stage of uncertainty.
Fredy Calderón, one of the representatives of the landlords, expressed that more than 600 of them do agree to carry out the liquidation.
“We ask for the restitution of the properties, we have not received the payments for 14 months, apart from that the public services continue to add up. Our properties are almost ready to fall”, said Calderón.
What will happen?
Londoño, the delegate of the Supersociedades, indicated that until the end of last year Justo & Bueno had assets of $870,000 million, which will be taken into account to respond for the obligations that the firm currently has.
Finally, at the end of the hearing, Londoño ordered to suspend the effects of the liquidation, but to maintain the appointment of the liquidator and the removal of the administrators.
Thus, Darío Laguado Monsalve, the appointed liquidating agent, will have one month to present a valued inventory of the assets that make up the company’s assets and a list of liquidation administration expenses that may serve as the basis for the proposal of capitalization made by the bidders, being in this case the creditors.
Since yesterday, the connection between the liquidator and the administrative team of Justo & Bueno began. It is expected that in a month the hearing will resume so that the Supersociedades evaluate the rescue options and finally define the fate of the chain.
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